Najam Sethi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee, said that the government will not allow the Men in Green to play World Cup in India after its refusal to send its team to play Asia Cup in Pakistan.
Speaking to an Indian sports channel Thursday, Sethi said that the proposed hybrid model, if accepted, will be applied to World Cup 2023 in India and the Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan.
“Hybrid model is a compromise but we are ready for it. We have offered to host Asia Cup in two phases, four matches of the group stage will be played in Pakistan. After that, we all will go to a neutral venue to play the rest of the matches including the final,” he said.
It must be noted here that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been forcing the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to shift Asia Cup outside Pakistan. They are convincing ACC members not to play in the Asian event in Pakistan.
Sethi also shared his conversation with a senior ACC representative. “I met a senior ACC representative in Dubai three days ago. I explained the complete hybrid model to him. He went back to Jay Shah to discuss this model. Later on, I had a WhatsApp chat with him in which he said Jay Shah has no problem with it but he will consult with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka before making any decision,” he disclosed.
Earlier, Indian media reported that Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have opposed PCB’s hybrid model. However, reliable sources in PCB confirmed that both countries have reservations about United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the neutral venue due to the routine hot weather there in September [Asia Cup window].
In reply to a question, Sethi said there will be no International Cricket Council (ICC) sanctions on Pakistan if they opt out of playing World Cup in India due to security reasons. “There will be no sanctions. There is a clause [Force Majeure] that allows us to decide whether to play or not in case of security concerns,” he asserted.
ICC’s force majeure clause allows member countries to opt out of the event if they feel security-related issues or unprecedented situations.